Social media users spread false info amid mass shooting - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Social media users spread false info amid mass shooting

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Many people took to social media to talk about the mass shooting in Las Vegas (WFSB) Many people took to social media to talk about the mass shooting in Las Vegas (WFSB)
LAS VEGAS, NV (WFSB) -

After the worst mass shooting in our country's modern history, reaction continues to pour in on social media.

While the platforms can be a place to stay up to date or express yourself, they have also been proven to be an incubator for hoaxes and misinformation.

On Monday, following the mass shooting in Las Vegas, so many people took to social media, from celebrities, to local politicians even relatives of the victims of Sandy Hook.

But amid the words of support as well as outrage, some people took to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to pass along false information.

In the minutes and hours after the shooting in Vegas, posts and tweets were making the rounds on social media.

With some of the facts still up in the air, several hoaxes also started circulating.

In fact, several Twitter users falsely identified a man named Samir Al-hajeed as the gunman wanted in connection with the mass shooting.

The actual gunman, according to police, was 64-year-old Steven Paddock of Nevada, who killed himself before the authorities moved in.

Other users took the opportunity to lie about their loved ones disappearing in the chaos.

One man claimed his brother was stuck inside the hotel, before other users exposed him.

Another Twitter user reported his nephew was missing.

Others shared pictures of their children who were supposedly missing.

All of these tweets were shared hundreds, some thousands of times, before either the tweet was removed or their entire account was suspended.

This isn't the first time that social media trolls have reported false information in the wake of an attack.

The tragedy of the Manchester Arena bombing also gave rise to several hoaxes including false reports of missing relatives and friends.

While this underscores the importance of not believing everything we see and read on social media, there is no doubt that the platforms can be incredibly useful when tragedy strikes.

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